Grassroots Stewardship, Back to Communities After Election
Wednesday evening, still shell-shocked from the long night, I spent had a good podcast talk with Canadian ocean scientist, Andrew Lewin, whom I had met in Newfoundland.  Andrew asked about how America's presidential election would impact ocean conservation.  I did not like the outcome. 

However, we managed to find a silver lining to the sow’s ear.  When Hawaiian-born Obama created the National Ocean Council, we all focused on making asks of this ocean president. We won’t be doing that with the next president. Instead we must go local returning to the communities of the landscapes and seascapes that we belong to. Listening to their particular situations, we find grassroots ways to advance ocean conservation and to save the planet.    

The Ocean River Institute’s Ten Yard Actions for Clean Water program offer families easy to do activities. For example, fertilize grass less often and wash your car with a bucket not a hose. People share with neighbors and friends why they are doing things a bit differently and responsible stewardship grows organically. Families and businesses discover ways to reduce harm to oceans or to lessen their carbon pollution that results in cleaner conditions and often cost savings. They will not go back to less good practices just because the federal regulators have been shut down.    

When communities see ways that government should help, they call on their representatives who in turn confer with colleagues for best practices and most robust inclusive solutions. The number of legislators grows until they are majority. It’s difficult for a president to stop Congress when many Americans are calling their reps to task that would be un-American. Ocean conservation and climate change actions may start in yards and in businesses. Grassroots conservation actions are more tenacious then are executive orders from Washington because only they are rooted locally. Let’s foster marine and freshwater stewardship together from the ground up.   

P.S. I posted on Facebook and Andrew wrote back:  

. . .Our conversation lit a fire under my butt to stop mourning a lost country to help the people who want to protect the environment. I look forward to not only having people listen to your interview that I will publish next week, but for my listeners to feel empowered to start making that change!  

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